FTC Questioning Apple About Health Data Protection Policies

The United States Federal Trade Commission has met with Apple representatives several times over the past few months to discuss Apple's privacy practices covering health data collection, reports Reuters. The FTC is reportedly seeking assurance that Apple will prevent health data collected by the Apple Watch and other iOS devices via the Health app from being used without express user consent.

The two people, both familiar with the FTC's thinking, said Apple representatives have met on multiple occasions with agency officials in recent months, to stress that it will not sell its users' health data to third-party entities such as marketers or allow third-party developers to do so.

An Apple spokesperson told Reuters that the company "works closely with regulators around the world" to make its built-in data protections clear. "We've been very encouraged by their support," she said, adding that Apple's new health-focused initiative, HealthKit, had been designed "with privacy in mind."

applewatch1
While the FTC declined to comment, Reuters does not believe that the government agency will launch a formal inquiry into Apple's data protection policies, though it is clearly taking a great interest in the Apple Watch, which collects data like heart rate and movement, and HealthKit, which allows Apple's Health app to aggregate health-related data from various apps and accessories.

Though it hasn't even hit the market, other government officials have also taken an interest in the Apple Watch. In September, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook asking for information on what data Apple plans to collect with the device, how the information will be stored, and what Apple's policies are for apps that access health information.

Earlier this year, ahead of the Apple Watch's debut, Apple released new guidelines for HealthKit APIs, which also applies to the Apple Watch. In the document, Apple explains that HealthKit information will not be stored in iCloud and that apps attempting to store health-related data in iCloud will be rejected. It also clearly states that apps will not be able to share data with third parties without express user consent.

In recent months, Apple has attempted to make its privacy policies more transparent, creating a comprehensive new privacy site that details all of its privacy practices. Tim Cook also spoke on privacy in a recent interview, stating that users "have a right to privacy" and that the company "tries not to collect data." "Our business is based on selling [products]," he said. "Our business is not based on having information about you. You are not our product."

Top Rated Comments

farewelwilliams Avatar
107 months ago
don't they have other things to worry about? like comcast?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sonmi451 Avatar
107 months ago
Good. It's gives Apple a chance to brag again about their most important policy - not collecting your data.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
szw-mapple fan Avatar
107 months ago
Meanwhile, the FTC ignores the S Gear...
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RealKrS Avatar
107 months ago
In the meantime our privacy is getting virtually raped from every directions cause the FTC is too ******** busy questioning the one company that made customer's privacy their one priority!..
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Hustler1337 Avatar
107 months ago
By the way the Health app has been since iOS 8 released, I think Apple have been losing more data than collecting them.

It's been so unreliable that I've lost trust in their app for logging and monitoring health-related data.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Born Again Avatar
107 months ago
don't they have other things to worry about? like comcast?

The ftc has more than one employee
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone trade in

Apple Adjusts Trade-In Values for iPhones, Macs, and More

Wednesday January 25, 2023 9:40 am PST by
After announcing new Mac and HomePod models last week, Apple adjusted its trade-in values for select devices in the United States. iPhone trade-in values decreased by up to $80, and most Android smartphones also went down. Mac trade-in values remained unchanged or increased by up to $40 depending on the model, while some Apple Watch models increased in value and others decreased. Trade-in...
iphone 15 pro wifi 6e

Internal Apple Document From Leaker 'Unknownz21' Confirms Wi-Fi 6E Will Be Limited to iPhone 15 Pro Models

Friday January 27, 2023 10:01 am PST by
Multiple rumors have suggested that the next-generation iPhone 15 models will adopt the Wi-Fi 6E standard that Apple has already introduced in the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro, and now a leaked document appears to confirm Apple's plans. Sourced from researcher and Apple leaker Unknownz21 (@URedditor), the document features diagrams of the iPhone 15's antenna architecture. D8x refers to the...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Expected to Feature Wi-Fi 6E Like Latest Macs and iPad Pro

Wednesday January 25, 2023 5:39 pm PST by
The iPhone 15 will support Wi-Fi 6E, according to a research note shared this week by Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O'Malley. The analysts did not specify whether the feature will be available on all models or limited to the Pro models. Apple has added Wi-Fi 6E support to a handful of devices so far, including the latest 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New M2 Max MacBook Pro

Thursday January 26, 2023 12:14 pm PST by
New 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with the latest M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are available in Apple retail stores and are already in the hands of customers, and we picked up one of the new M2 Max machines to answer all of the questions MacRumors readers considering a purchase might have. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Yesterday, we asked MacRumors fans on...
Mac Pro 2019 Apple

Mac Pro Enthusiasts Raise Concerns Over Upgrade Limitations of Apple Silicon

Thursday January 26, 2023 6:30 am PST by
The new Mac Pro coming later this year is expected to feature the same spacious modular design as the 2019 model, but with fresh concerns over its lack of upgradeability surfacing, some users are beginning to wonder what the transition away from Intel architecture actually means for Apple's most powerful Mac. The current Intel Mac Pro that Apple sells is popular with creative professionals...
iOS 16

iOS 16.3 for iPhone Launching Next Week With These 4 New Features

Friday January 20, 2023 11:43 am PST by
In a recent press release, Apple confirmed that iOS 16.3 will be released to the public next week. The software update will be available for the iPhone 8 and newer and includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped bigger features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for Apple ID accounts, worldwide ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Pro Rumored to Have These 8 Features

Friday January 27, 2023 2:11 pm PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to be announced in September as usual. Already, rumors suggest the devices will have at least eight exclusive features not available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. An overview of the eight features rumored to be exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro models:A17 chip: iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with an A17...